Quotes Suitable for Framing: The Ox-bow Incident

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My dear Wife, Mr. Davies will tell you what’s happening here tonight. He’s a good man and has done everything he can for me. I suppose there are some other good men here, too, only they don’t seem to realize what they’re doing. They’re the ones I feel sorry for. ‘Cause it’ll be over for me in a little while, but they’ll have to go on remembering for the rest of their lives. A man just naturally can’t take the law into his own hands and hang people without hurtin’ everybody in the world, ’cause then he’s just not breaking one law but all laws. Law is a lot more than words you put in a book, or judges or lawyers or sheriffs you hire to carry it out. It’s everything people ever have found out about justice and what’s right and wrong. It’s the very conscience of humanity. There can’t be any such thing as civilization unless people have a conscience, because if people touch God anywhere, where is it except through their conscience? And what is anybody’s conscience except a little piece of the conscience of all men that ever lived? I guess that’s all I’ve got to say except kiss the babies for me and God bless you. Your husband, Donald.

The Ox-Bow Incident (1940)-Walter Van Tilburg Clark

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3 Comments

  1. “Law is a lot more than words you put in a book, or judges or lawyers or sheriffs you hire to carry it out. It’s everything people ever have found out about justice and what’s right and wrong. It’s the very conscience of humanity. There can’t be any such thing as civilization unless people have a conscience, because if people touch God anywhere, where is it except through their conscience? And what is anybody’s conscience except a little piece of the conscience of all men that ever lived? ”
    .
    Ian Fleming, the author of James Bond books defined the law as “the crystallization of man’s prejudice.” This would seem to entitled every law breaker to victimhood.
    .
    Obama has outlawed conscience in favor of communism.

  2. “These are the precepts of the law: to live uprightly, not to harm another, to give to each his own.” [Iuris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere (Dig. 1.1.10.1 Ulpianus 1 reg.)]

  3. ‘ … There can’t be any such thing as civilization unless people have a conscience, because if people touch God anywhere, where is it except through their conscience? …’
    .
    “These are the precepts of the law: to live uprightly, not to harm another, to give to each his own.”
    As a gift to the US Federal and State paid office holders, this would be perfect – whether framed and tied with a bow or not, or by general delivery with cyber means as they do.
    .
    (By the way, the Connecticut River has an Ox Bow of water, which is surrounded by corn fields made fertile by high water during spring melt from the north. Imagination brings wonder at the bow of the beasts of burden decades back when viewing the shape of the river’s Ox Bow from the mountain summit. )

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